If you have trouble remembering things - mnemonics can help

The human mind is complex and there are several factors that affect memory, for instance age, health, emotions and mood. Mnemonics are simple techniques or formulas for remembering information that is otherwise very difficult to recall and we look at some examples below:

How using mnemonics can boost your memory

Our brains are used to certain memory stimuli relating to images, colours, sounds, smells, tastes and emotions to name a few. Our memories store these details. The idea behind mnemonics is to use these easy to remember and clear mental images in memorising more complex information. You can code information in this manner using songs, stories, clear images, humour or symbols.


Mnemonics are effective memory assistants because they help in visualisation. For example when you associate rainbow colours to a list of seven items you have to remember, you start picturing each item according to its own colour. This way you are able to differentiate properties of each individual item and you face no chance of confusion. The more vividly you visualise a situation the more likely you it becomes embedded in your mind. For this reason of visualisation mnemonics have been proved to boost memory.

Acronyms and chunks

Acronyms which are words formed from the first letters of names in a group are efficient in shortening a long list of items to remembered. The list will now occupy an efficient space in your brain helping you to remember all things at the same time. For instance for a list of items whose first letters are EGBDF, the acronym Every Good Boy Deserves Fun can help one remember all the items. Other methods of creating acronyms include rhymes or chunks. Chunking is mostly used in remembering telephone numbers by breaking them into groups of 3. Placing big information into small and easily retrievable containers is how mnemonics helps boost our memory.


Organisation or categorising is also another way of using mnemonics. You place information into well-known categories. For instance, it is known that all insects have six legs. So every time you get an organism with six legs you remember it is an insect. Categorisation for instance of animals into mammals, insects, amphibians, birds and so on helps to divide the list into fewer number of categories. All you have to remember is the categories or classes and then the features apply to all under a given category.


The formulas and techniques of remembering help you to associate the complex to the simple. A coding like this over several repetitions enables you to create permanent relationships between the thing to be remembered and the way of remembering it. We either link them using the same colour, merging images together or arranging them in a certain order. When you are able to recall the association, your mind easily digs deeper to unravel what other properties are there of the primary stimulus. Mnemonics are exceptionally effective in boosting your memory and speeding up the learning process. 

We hope this helps – feedback would be welcomed.

And remember - Mayfair cares.


Memory and Mnemonic Devices/ Psych Central


Mind tools/ memory


The Fodmap Diet

The FODMAP diet is being talked about increasingly so what is it? What is its background?

Research suggests that the FODMAP diet was developed to help deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Commonly known by its abbreviated form IBS, it has been found to be the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder in the world. Symptoms include:





Stomach cramps

It has been popular to blame the amount of wheat that we eat and Gluten free diets have been growing in commonality. However, experts suggest that this may not now be as big an issue as first thought following Australian research.

So what is a Fodmap diet?

The Australian research concluded that wheat contains far more than just gluten with Fodmap standing for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharaides, and Polyols (FODMAPs) which are specific carbohydrates which some people have difficulty in digesting, especially those with IBS. 

These nutrients are all in the carbohydrate group; some being sugars – ie lactose, others sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and others non-digestible fibres such as fructans. They are found in whole foods including fruits, dairy and cereals.

Kate Scarlata, who is an author of a book ``A Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Well with IBS” remarked that most IBS patients having symptoms such as bloating are certainly going to experience health improvements once they reduce their Fodmap intake because a high intake of Fodmaps can cause fermentation and bloating by drawing more water into the intestines.

Not only that but a low Fodmap diet will also help in curing functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), which includes a number of other digestive issues and it has also been found to be helpful to people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Cohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

What foods contain Fodmaps?

Examples include:

Grains - including barley, wheat, rye

Fruit - including apples, pears, mangoes, plums

Vegetables - including cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus

The overall list is a long one and you would be wise to seek professional medical or dietary advice before making drastic changes to your diet.

In summary

If you suffer from IBS or have regular tummy trouble then there are significant benefits to be had from observing a Fodmap diet but a word of caution; in the event that you resumed a 'regular' diet, please be aware that your original symptoms are likely to return as well as an increase in weight assuming you have been strictly Fodmap free. It takes will power to observe any diet but the benefits of this one are obvious to see so good luck.

And remember - Mayfair cares. 


Health recommendations update re: travelling to The Olympics in August / September 2016


From 5th to 21st August 2016 and from 7th to 18th September the XXXI Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 will be held in Brazil.

The Olympic football tournament will be held in five different cities of Brazil including Salvador, Sao Paulo, Manaus, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia.

What follows is an update of an earlier blog giving some of the recommendations for Olympic Games’ fans travelling to Brazil this year to stay safe and healthy throughout their stay.

Prior to departure

Travellers to Brazil should seek advice from their national authorities with regards to health risks. You can also access health advice by the Brazil Health authorities for visitors on the authorities’ health websites. This is mostly in Portuguese but can be translated on the site. The public Unified Health System services of Brazil are free of charge to visitors and every individual that is interested.

Use vaccines for preventable diseases

The visitors from various respective countries should schedule their medical consultations as early as possible to before travel to allow sufficient time for immunization against various diseases.

This will be appropriate for both routine vaccines and other vaccines are indicated for various destinations within Brazil. Measles vaccination should be up to date to prevent its importation to Brazil after its transmission was interrupted in July 2015. The same applies to rubella that was eliminated in 2009 in Brazil.

Travellers from areas where polio cases area prevalent are also advised to be fully immunized to stop its re-introduction to the nation. Polio was eliminated in Brazil in 1989.

Vaccination should also be considered for travellers at risk of any complications resulting from influenza. Seasonal vaccination of influenza is recommended for people across all ages, people with chronic medical conditions and healthcare workers. The Olympic Games will be held after the influenza season in Rio de Janeiro and as such travellers should receive influenza vaccine at least two weeks prior to departure.

Vaccines related to travel

It is also recommended that travellers get vaccines for the following diseases such as:

Hepatitis A: Brazil is prone to hepatitis A outbreaks and as such travellers should be vaccinated against it.

Hepatitis B: There is low risk of contracting Hepatitis B unless the travellers are engaged in high risk behaviours. 

Typhoid: Incidences of typhoid fever is highest in the North and North- East, including Amazonas and Manaus which hosts the Olympic football tournament. 

Yellow fever: Single lifetime dose of Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for all travellers in Brazil for the Olympic Games. The vaccination against the disease should be carried out for all travellers over nine months in age at least 10 days before their departure from their home country.

Zika virus: Brazil has had an outbreak of the Zika Virus in the recent past which has been highly publicised. The Zika virus is transmitted primarily through mosquito bites. Subsequent transmission can occur from a pregnant woman to her unborn child and through sexual contact. The Zika virus can remain longer in a man who has been affected and can be passed to his sexual partners.

It is not advisable for pregnant women, or those considering starting a family in the very near future, to attend the Olympics in Brazil.

Please note that these updates, whilst useful information, should not replace you seeking professional advice and recommendations from your own doctor before embarking on your journey.

Have a great time and please remember, Mayfair cares.




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